The Let's Play Archive

Persona 5

by Arist

Part 140: 10/28-10/29: Straight As An Arrow

Part 132: 10/28-10/29: Straight As An Arrow

Music: Suspicion

We’ll be going to Niijima’s Palace, so I want to look into her. Things like her work ethic and relationships. It doesn’t matter whether it’s public or private.

It’s kind of fucked up that we’ve basically just identified a likelihood that Sae is going to do some bad shit, Minority Report-style, and we’re already actively working to undermine her privacy. For some reason this bothers me more than the fact that we plan to brainwash her. She hasn’t actually done anything wrong yet besides be a total shit to Makoto, is what I’m saying.

Those would help us come up with countermeasures in case we hit a roadblock in her Palace.

I mean, I guess that’s a decent excuse, though Makoto would probably know a lot of what we’d need anyway.

I can look up more, you know. Stuff like her repertoire of underwear.

You tell her too!

I thought you’d like that…

I’m not a sex pest, Futaba. This game’s weird enough about that stuff already.

Ahem! Also, I may be overthinking it, but my voice--

Futaba grabs Morgana’s face.

Same as always.
Let me finish first! *sigh* ...There’s something else we want you to look into.

My memory is a haze...

Anon: id bet money on the arrest
Anon: Akechi-kun, save us!
Anon: Record-breaking evil
Anon: stop shitposting lol


Music: Suspicion

First off, the investigation team has announced new progress in the search for the Phantom Thieves. Secondly, the opposition party has submitted a vote of no confidence regarding the current Cabinet. That along with Legislator Shido’s plan for a new party has sparked fears of governmental disbandment.


Music: So Boring

Oh right, we were never told where to meet up.
At the courthouse.
Where’s that?
Hint: The government office district.
Oh, I’ve heard of that place. Never been there though.
Me neither.
It’s not somewhere normal people usually go.

You know, all those weirdos in civil service.

Whoa. Just looking at the map is impressive. The Police department, Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecutors Office, AND Public Security. The Diet Building is right near there too.
For real!? What kinda scary place are we going to!?
We won’t get caught, right…?
According to Akechi-kun, our identities haven’t been discovered yet.
So we are jut going to plunge head-first into enemy territory… Has anyone contacted Akechi?
We’re going to meet him there. Be on guard, everyone. We’ll be heading into a lion’s den.

Being in the general vicinity of public servants isn’t actually that dangerous even for us, unless they’re expecting large groups of teenagers to go waltzing up to the Tax Bureau or whatever the fuck and have set a trap accordingly. Honestly, the biggest risk would just be Akechi accidentally fatfingering the wrong group text and blasting “Hey Maaku, Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Makoto, Futaba, and Haru. Ready for our covert Phantom Thieves business?” to the entire police department.

Let’s hurry up and get started. Akechi, what did you find out?

Music: Disquiet

I rarely get to see Sae-san directly, but I’ve figured out her course of action. On the 20th, an investigation will likely be done at Shujin Academy… as well as the Sakura residence.

Wait, I thought they didn’t know who we were, and the risk was they were going to arrest the wrong person? Why would they go to Sojiro’s place?

For… real…?
...Then that means, our time limit is November 20th.
But this should be a substantially forced operation. I doubt it’ll take place before the 20th.
We’ll take your word. For now, we need to focus on infiltrating her Palace.
I concur. And, we should probably get going soon. After all, people like us standing around here is quite unnatural. Well then...

Music: Wicked Plan

Oh, those wacky hijinks the Phantom Thieves get up to, hyuk~

I’m so sorry. Until recently, Futaba was actually a… well…
It’s OK, Sae-san told me the gist.
Oh, right. Akechi-kun, it may be best if you exchange contact info with everyone too, not just me.
That’s true.

*sigh* I’ll send everyone’s contacts to you later…

Akechi looks around at everyone.

Well then, I hope we get along. I’ll do my best.
Though our positions are somewhat different, Akechi will be joining us for the time being… I feel like my bond with Akechi has grown even deeper...

And with that, Akechi has joined the Phantom Thieves, and gotten all the requisite gameplay benefits from his Confidant. Prior to this point in the Confidant menu, these skills were displayed as “LOCKED,” but we now have access to them.

Futaba hands Akechi back his phone.

She’s praising you… I believe.

Music: Suspicion

Then, shall we get started?

Maaku takes his phone out.

We need to figure out what Makoto’s sis thinks this courthouse is, right?
I often hear her call it a “place of competition in which she must always win.”
A competition, huh… That sounds like Sae-san.
It’d be unbearable if we were put on trial for a reason like that. ...Although, a competition means it’s a match of some sort. Might it be a martial-arts ring?
Conditions have not been met.
Then… perhaps a stadium? Or maybe an arena?
Conditions have not been met.
There are other competitions besides fighting and sports.
Gambling, then!
How about a racetrack for horses? Other than that, there’s pachinko, but does that count as gambling?
We played cards during the school trip.

That doesn’t really help, Ryuji.

Conditions have not been met.
What else is there?
It must be a “casino”…
Candidate found.

Akechi is surprised.

I definitely see Sae-san in you.

What a cruel thing to say!

Welp, it’s time we head in then.
Beginning navigation.

Sae’s Palace

That’s it… huh? What’s going on here?

Seems like it…
Let’s go.

And so, we’re finally back here.

Music: Disquiet

Everywhere else seems to be a normal cityscape.

I didn’t know that the station and the courthouse were next to each other.
Our attire hasn’t changed… That must mean we aren’t considered threats or hostiles yet.

The police station’s also part of her work area though, whenever arrests are made for her cases. I’ve brought her food and belongings when she was sent on loan to the police.
We got no business with the cops, right? This might be the Metaverse, but I don’t wanna go in a station.
That reminds me, he’ll need a code name too.

“That reminds me” in this game seems to just mean “I thought of this for no reason.”

...Code name?
Phantom thieves can’t go around usin’ their real names, right? It ain’t cool either.

That’s not the actual reason we decided to use them, but whatever.

Just for reference, what is everyone else’s?
Mine’s Fox.
We pretty much decided on them with how we look, didn’t we?

Haru is quiet.

What is it, Haru?

O-Oh, it’s nothing...

Okay, I get what this joke is supposed to be, with Haru’s nascent sense of justice leading her to pick the code name “Noir.” Then, as a reference to the fact that the rest of the team thought it was a bit odd, she feels embarrassed about it now. It just doesn’t really come across that well. First, because that was like ten hours ago and no one’s remarked upon or developed any of that since, and second because “Noir” is still a badass code name.

Then… perhaps “Karasu” will be best for me. You know, like a raven.
Are your clothes all black or something?
The reverse, actually. If our code names are to hide our identities, wouldn’t that be better?
Karasu… He’d be the only Japanese-sounding one.

“Noir” is the only French-sounding one, who cares?

Why not go with “Crow” instead?
All right, from here on out, you’re Crow.
Got it.

Music: The Whims of Fate (Listen to this)

This is one of the best songs in the game, which is fitting, because this is also the best Palace by a comfortable margin.

Sorry Haru, but you’re benched for now. Time to see what Goro has to offer.

We can’t go in the front door obviously, so we head up this fire escape and jump across.

There, we find a door waiting for us.

Music: Disquiet

Pfffff… Oh god, what the fuck, I don’t know if I can hold back the laughter… Look at this fuckin’ nerd!

Dude, you plannin’ on stealin’ stuff in that getup?
It just means that’s what he thinks a rebel looks like.

Like a parade float?

No, this is my mental image of a person who sticks to their justice.


Well, I think your mask is more apt for piercing rather than sticking…

But we’re in a flashy casino. There’s no doubt this is a Palace.
...Oh right, Crow doesn’t know too much about cognitive beings, does he?
Ah, yes. In addition to similar topography, cognitive people exist based on the ruler’s perceptions.
That prolly didn’t make much sense ‘cause of all the fancy terms he was usin’, huh?
In essence, since these ones look like real people, Sae-san’s view of others is surprisingly undistorted. But considering what I see before me, it’s difficult to believe it is not actually a real casino.
Not all cognitions are normal though. In Futaba and Okumura’s Palaces, we had to battle them. People may look normal, but we should be careful… particularly of those in positions of power.
Is this what you have to go through every time?

Hm, this is a first for me… I’m somewhat nervous.
Just don’t slow us down, Crow.
I will not allow that to happen.

OK, it’s time we head inside. Our deadline for this infiltration is November 20th. Any later, and we’ll get caught in reality. Of course, we’ll need to secure an infiltration route before we send out the calling card. As always.

Aww, he looks so excited.

Will you please stop interrupting?

M-My apologies.
Well then… let’s go.

Everyone nods.

Music: The Whims of Fate

This room is just jumping across lights until we come to a vent we have to crawl through.

Music: Desire

Come on down and I will tell you where it is.
Wh-What!? We’re not going to fall for a trick like that…
*chuckle* It’s not a lie. I only wish to do this fair and square.

Your Palace is a fucking casino. Fair and square my ass.

You aren’t going to run, are you...
We should do as she says. There is no point in hiding any longer.

That seems like a bad idea, but you’re the detective, I guess

Hoo boy, now that’s a look for a Shadow. Not gonna lie… I’m kinda into it.

The Treasure is located on the Manager’s Floor, at the highest point of this building.
...Why are you telling us this?
It’s as I said before… I wish to go about this in the fairest manner possible. First, I ask that you come up to my location. We will continue this there…

Shadow Sae snaps her fingers...

And she’s gone!

We technically have free roam of this room at the moment, but the only thing we can do here is enter a safe room. Let’s just head to the elevator instead.

Music: Suspicion

Perhaps it bears relation to a player’s club of sorts.
I can’t handle your technical speak! Just gimme it straight!

“Technical” isn’t the word I’d use, Ryuji.

Casinos typically have a membership system called a player’s club. Some locations even have areas cordoned off for particular ranks of player. Considering the setup of this place, I thought things may be similar here.
That’ll make this shit simple. C’mon, let’s join this player thingy.
I would agree with you, but…

As I expected. Registration will not be such a simple matter.
She must be daring us to challenge the security of this place to make it to her.
Tch, here it comes!

I promise to surpass even such lofty hopes as those.

Music: Will Power

Don’t worry. You can leave this one to me.

Akechi already had his Persona, so no fancy awakening for him, sadly. Akechi is pretty damn useful, though.

Akechi uses fucking lightsabers as melee weapons...

...and for a gun, he has a laser pistol with six shots.

He’s the only party member with access to the neutral Almighty element (Megidola is Heavy Almighty to all foes), can use Megaton Raid for Severe Physical damage to one foe, and can use a variety of Bless and Curse skills. He starts with Kouga and Eiga, single-target Medium Bless and Curse, as well as Hamaon and Mudoon, which are medium chances to instant-kill any non-boss with Bless or Curse.

He starts with seven of his eight skill slots taken, with the one we can’t see right now being reserved for Fortify Spirit, a passive skill that reduces the chance of suffering a status ailment. He also learns all kinds of other shit. Almost too much, I’d say. He can revive people. He learns an automatic Tarukaja spell. In the endgame he gets Debilitate, which lowers all three stat parameters for a single foe (which can lead to some stupid damage numbers if you set it up correctly).

He’s pretty versatile, is what I’m saying. He is weak to Curse, but his ability to use Curse anyway is great. His only real downside is that he’s something of an SP hog due to his starting lack of multi-target skills outside of Megidola, which can’t hit any weaknesses. If we want to knock anyone down with him, we’re gonna have to do it one at a time.

Speaking of which, we actually can’t knock this guy down with Akechi. He resists everything except Curse, which he blocks, and Bless, which he’s neutral to. It’s kind of annoying because we can’t see his cut-in or his finisher in this fight, but the fight’s also really easy, to the point where I won’t bother uploading a video.

Music: The Whims of Fate

And I am capable of much more. Now then, let us deal with the Shadows quickly.
Wait. Doesn’t it sound like we’re gonna get ambushed based on what we heard earlier?
...I agree. I’d like to deal with them as quick as we can… But now that we have an infiltration route, I’d suggest we return for now and prepare.
Very well, I trust your experience and judgment. Let us do that.

Music: Beneath the Mask

We will need to explain the steps to take though.
That is unnecessary. First we secure an infiltration route, then send the calling card. Correct? In doing so, the core of the ruler’s distorted desires will manifest into a physical form. By taking that core, the change of heart will be triggered. I deduce the steps would be something along those lines?
It ain’t as easy as it sounds. Don’t underestimate this shit.
I am not underestimating anything, I assure you.
By the way, Niijima-san’s Shadow seemed really confident...

Come now, there is no need for hostility. I will simply have to come to Leblanc every day in that case.
That’s not enough for now. Let’s prepare well for the coming task.
Ah, yes. My apologies for somewhat derailing this conversation.
We will be counting on you, Akechi. Failure is not an option here.
Yes. I’ll do my best to live up to all of your expectations.
The crucial moment’s finally here! Give it all you’ve got!

But I seriously believe the Phantom Thieves are innocent. By the way, I changed up the survey question. It’s already in flames though. It’s a problem for me too if people don’t think the Phantom Thieves are heroes… Just try and clear the stigma on your name as soon as you can, OK? I’m counting on you!
So people are turning on us even in his survey? Our popularity is really at an all-time low…

However… He’s not the only traitor! Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode… “You Again, Hawk?”

Well, we're ready to start our Palace infiltration whenever we choose. But before we go:

This is Akechi’s Persona, Robin Hood. You fucking know who Robin Hood is. Merry Men, Sherwood Forest, Maid Marian, robbing the rich and giving to the poor, apparently fought in the Crusades which I didn’t know but is pretty fucked up, etc.

For real though, Robin Hood was a legendary outlaw of English folklore, a skilled archer and swordsman, who fought against the Sheriff of Nottingham, who took his lands for Prince John, who usurped the throne from the rightful King Richard. Sometimes he fought in the Crusades, sometimes he was just born a noble, it’s not terribly consistent and there’s tons of theories about its actual veracity, including one that posits he was a stock alias of English outlaws in general. Modern legends have updated some of this, too, but the legends are generally always that he fights injustice (like giving to the poor and stealing from the rich, of course) and remains loyal to the rightful king like the filthy monarchist that he is.

Also the game wants to keep Akechi being a party member “secret” despite the fact that he’s on the fucking boxart, so there’s no official Soejima portrait of Robin Hood like the other party member Personas. Instead, we have to use this concept art. Looking at it makes me realize that holy shit, Robin Hood is just All Might.

Anyway, Akechi is voiced by Robbie Daymond, probably one of the better-known VAs in the cast for his role as Prompto from Final Fantasy XV, though he's also been in many other large roles like Sorey from Tales of Zestiria (an absolutely miserable game that you should not play) Mumen Rider in One Punch Man, Chrollo Lucilfer from Hunter x Hunter, and Ide in FLCL Progressive. He's also currently Spider-Man in a cartoon that I watched some of and didn't like. Anyway, Daymond's got an infectiously cheery voice, which helps sell certain aspects of Akechi's character rather well. Some of the more dramatic scenes end up being a little flatter though. Not a bad performance in my opinion, still. Moving on!